If you’re looking for something to do with that last tiny bit of pumpkin in your fridge, make these pumpkin ricotta buttermilk pancakes. They’re spiced to perfection, and believe it or not, the ricotta really lightens up the texture. I didn’t want these to be heavy and dense, so that little bit of ricotta plus the whipped egg whites really delivers a perfect pumpkin pancake.
You’ll need a large, medium, and small bowl for this process. Everything comes together very easily, especially if you have an electric mixer. For those of you who don’t have an electric mixer, you can use a big sturdy whisk and a lot of muscle for the egg white step. Whipping the egg whites and folding them into the batter ensures a tender and light texture, which could otherwise be compromised due to the heavy pumpkin. You pair the fluffy egg whites with ricotta and the texture becomes a mix of creamy and light. The buttermilk plays a great role here too, adding slight tang, richness, and fluffiness. You could use whole milk in a pinch, but the texture and rise of your pancake will not be as fluffy. Still tasty, but flatter overall.
How to make Pumpkin Ricotta Buttermilk Pancakes
Using an electric mixer or sturdy whisk and lots of muscle, whip your egg whites!
Until they’re soft and fluffy like this.
In another bowl or large measuring cup, add the buttermilk, egg yolks, pumpkin puree, ricotta, and vanilla.
Whisk it up until its thoroughly combined.
Combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda + powder, and spices. Whisk them together so that they’re evenly incorporated.
Pour in the buttermilk mixture.
Gently mix with a whisk JUST until its combined. You should still see streaks of flour, and that’s fine. We have more folding to do, so don’t go crazy just yet.
Plop the whipped egg whites on top, and gently fold them in.
Keep going. Be gentle here.
This is about right. You should only see trace amounts of whipped whites here.
Your mixture should be thoroughly combined by now. Let it rest for about 10 minutes while you clean up, and get your griddle hot.
I prefer to use an electric griddle for pancakes because the heat is always reliable and needs little to no adjusting. But you can do this over the stove just fine. Use medium-low heat. Melt some real butter, and when it starts sizzle and foaming (shouldn’t be burning), it’s ready for batter.
I used a 1/3-cup scoop for my pancake size, which yielded 12 pancakes. Of course you can make them as big or little as you want. Depending on your heat level, let them cook for about 2-4 minutes on the first side until golden brown with crispy buttery edges.
Like this. Make sure your heat isn’t too hot. You don’t want to burn them before they’re done in the middle.
In a small bowl, place the 2 large egg whites (be careful not to get any yolk in them or they won’t whip properly), and whip until soft fluffy peaks form, about 2 minutes with an electric mixer. You can do this by hand with a whisk, so just keep going until your egg whites are nice and foamy. Set aside.
In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, 2 large egg yolks, vanilla extract, pumpkin, and whole milk ricotta. Using an electric mixer, beat everything together until smooth and well blended, about a minute.
In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Make a slight well in the center, and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Using a whisk or rubber spatula, gently mix the wet ingredients with the dry just until starting to combine. You should still see some small streaks of flour. Now, add the whipped egg whites and fold those in very gently. Being gentle will allow them to keep their airy texture and not deflate. When you see faint streaks of egg whites that haven’t been incorporated, add the cooled melted butter. Fold that in very gently. By now, your entire batter should be well mixed. No streaks of butter, flour, or egg whites visible. Lumps are fine! Don’t try to beat out all the lumps. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes while you clean up and pre-heat your griddle.
If using an electric griddle, set the heat to 300 degrees, no higher than 325 degrees. If using a skillet, set it over medium-low heat. When the griddle or skillet is hot, add about a tablespoon of butter and grease the entire bottom generously. You’ll know it’s hot enough when the butter stars to sizzle nicely (it should not be burning!). Adjust the heat as necessary.
Pour the batter onto the griddle or skillet using a 1/3-cup measurer (a 1/3-cup measure will yield 12 pancakes). Or, make them as little or as big as you’d like. Let them cook for 2-4 minutes on the first side, this will depend on the heat and size of the pancake. Flip them over when the edges are golden brown and buttery. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on the second side.
Serve with warm maple syrup and enjoy!
You can use less nutmeg if you’re not a fan.
Whole buttermilk is best, but low-fat is fine if that’s all you can find.